Buddha's Barley Bowl

Skill Level
Preparation Time 10 minutes Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 Cost Per Serving $2.05
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Image of Buddha's Barley Bowl.


Barley Salad
1 cupPot Barley
2 cupsBaby Bok Choy
1 cupSugar Snap Peas, thinly sliced
1Carrot, thinly sliced
1/4 cupThai or Genovese Basil
1 tbspSesame Seeds, toasted
2 tbspSliced Almonds, toasted
1/2Lime, juice only
1/2 tbspOlive Oil or Grape Seed Oil
To tasteSea Salt and Ground Black Pepper
1 tbspGinger, grated
1/2Lime, juice only
1 tbspRice Wine or White Wine Vinegar
2 tspMiso Paste
2 tbspOlive Oil or Grape Seed Oil


  1. Soak the barley for about 30 minutes then drain and rinse it well. Add it to a large pot and cover with water, bring the water up to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the barley sit in the water until the rest of your ingredients are ready.
  2. After the barley has simmered, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place all your vegetables in the middle of a large piece of parchment paper, sprinkle with the lime juice and oil, and season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Fold one side of the parchment paper over and crimp the edges to create a tight seal. Place the package on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  3. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small mason jar or Tupperware container and shake very well to combine.
  4. Once your veggies are done, add a scoop of the barley to a bowl, top with some of the warm veggies, and dress to taste. Garnish with some toasted sesame seeds and almonds.


  • The macrobiotic or “long life” diet aims to help you live in balance and harmony and increase your spirituality through diet. This diet is part of a larger spiritual program based on some teachings of Zen Buddhism.
  • The macrobiotic diet is low fat, high fibre and mostly vegetarian, emphasizing whole grains and vegetables. This diet is also rich in plant-based estrogens from soy products and emphasizes choosing whole foods in season.
  • The main issue with this diet is it limits the variety of foods which can be eaten. This can lead to not getting enough vitamin B12, iron, calcium and magnesium. For example, the two staples of the diet, brown rice and soy, are high in compounds called phytates that can impair the absorption of minerals.
  • The relative amounts of grains and vegetables in the macrobiotic diet is also not ideal. The diet suggests meals that are 50-60% grains and 20-30% vegetables, with very little protein. However, meals that are higher in vegetables and proteins and lower in grains  are a healthier and easier way to control weight and maximize nutrients.
  • Some of the principles of the macrobiotic way of eating can be useful as the basis of a healthy diet, but add more variety, fresh vegetables and fruit, and protein sources to make it balanced and healthy.